Conrad First The Joseph Conrad Periodical Archive

The Forum (New York, NY, USA)

August 1925

In January 1886, manufacturer and author Isaac Leopold Rice launched The Forum as a rival to the prestigious North American Review. After merging with The Century Magazine in 1930 to become The Forum and Century, it was absorbed by Current History in June 1940, continuing as Current History and The Forum and Column Review before reverting to its original name in 1945. A monthly, except for a brief incarnation as a quarterly between 1902 and July 1908, it was published in New York (Philadelphia during 1910-1916), and edited by Lorettus Sutton Metcalf (1886-91), Walter Hines Page (1891-95), Alfred Ernest Keet (1895-97), Joseph M. Rice (1897-1907), Frederic Taber Cooper (1907-09), Benjamin Russell Herts (1909-10), Mitchell Kennerley (1910-16), H. Thompson Rich (1917-18), Edwin Wildman (1918-20), George Henry Payne (1920-23), Henry Goddard Leach and Frank C. Davidson (1923-26), and Daniel George Redmond (1945-1950).

In addressing a wide range of topics in politics, economics, social affairs, religion, science, and education, The Forum made a feature of presenting both sides of a debate, which, together with its emphasis upon readability, ensured its presence in many college libraries and school classrooms. Subtitled 'A Magazine of Constructive Nationalism', it covered reform closely, joining other muckraking publications in the early 1900s in exposing political graft and corrupt business practices. Even as it prioritized political and social coverage, it published articles on science by John Tyndall, William Crookes, and Cesare Lombroso, political essays by W.T. Stead and Peter Kropotkin, and literary contributions by Thomas Hardy, Edmund Gosse, Frederic Harrison, Jules Verne, Hamlin Garland, 'Ouida', Edward Bellamy, Paul Bourget, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, G.K. Chesterton, John Galsworthy, H.G. Wells, George Meredith, Eden Phillpotts, Edna St. Vincent Millay, H.L. Mencken, and Sherwood Anderson. Having established a strong reputation for quality short fiction, The Forum went on to consolidate its position in the 1920s and 1930s as one of America's most distinguished magazines.

In July 1908, Conrad's 'The Point of Honor; A Military Tale' was the first serialized work of fiction to appear in The Forum. To his agent J.B. Pinker, he wrote the following month: 'Could you procure me a No off the Forum? I don't know that paper at all' (CL 4:102).

Clear, Richard E. Old Magazines: Identification & Value Guide. Second Edition. Lakeville, Minn.: Astragal Press, 2006.
Conrad, Joseph. Notes on Life and Letters. Ed. J. H. Stape, with Andrew Busza. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
Davies, Laurence, et al., ed. The Collected Letters of Joseph Conrad. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983-2008. 9 vols.
The Forum. The Fiction Mags Index.
The Forum. Galactic Central Magazine Archive.
Glazer, Nancy. Reading for Realism: The History of a U.S. Literary Institution, 1850-1910. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1996. See Chapter 4.
Mott, Frank Luther. A History of American Magazines, Volume IV: 1885-1905. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1957. 511-23.